[Dixielandjazz] Ellington, discography and musicology

Anton Crouch a.crouch at unsw.edu.au
Sun Apr 18 18:16:26 PDT 2004

Hello all

The recent discussion of Ellington's late 1930 recordings of 'Mood indigo'
raises an interesting issue.

First, some discographical clarifications:

1. The issued Victors of matrix 64811-4 have catalogue numbers 22587 and
24486, not the 22586 mentioned by Bill H.

2. The probably not issued 64811-1 is still shown as having been issued (on
Victor 20-1532) in the latest Rust "Jazz records'. This is in conflict with
Rust's earlier 'Victor master book' which, having been compiled from the
Victor ledgers, is the more authoritative document.

The interesting issue is the relationship of jazz discography to jazz
musicology. From reading the original message from Kay Norton of Arizona
State University it seems that Gunther Schuller does not have a copy of the
late 1930 Victor recording of 'Mood indigo'. This comes as a surprise,
particularly since Schuller discusses the composition at length in his
superb book 'Early jazz' (1968). Looking at the 'selected discography' for
the chapter on Ellington in 'Early jazz', one sees that there is no mention
of any Victor re-issue.

The point I am making is that, while we accept that jazz musicology was an
emerging phenomenon in the 1960s, it comes as a small shock to realise that
it is still an immature discipline. In 'classical' music, stemmatics is an
integral part of musicology. In jazz, discography is not yet recognised as

All the best

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list